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May 24, 2017

Heard it on the grapevine

by Helen Tarver - Senior Account Manager

Heard it on the grapevine

The annual London Wine Fair was in town this week, bringing together over 10,000 wines produced in over 40 countries, so having spent the last few months working on a drinks campaign ourselves, we thought we’d pop along.

The event itself offers some great insight into the latest drinking trends which all reveal a shift to target the millennial generation who have now overtaken baby boomers as the biggest wine consumers. Here’s some of my personal highlights if you didn’t manage to make the show yourself…

New single-serve formats were out in abundance including Pinot Pinot which taps into the soaring popularity of prosecco by targeting young lovers of bubbles with sparkling Pinot Grigio in a festival-friendly can. Very handy indeed!

One producer has taken the foil-topped wines we have seen increasingly in on-the-go convenience channels and added a fun storage twist to them with stackable single-serve, screw top jars. Deemed unbreakable, four jars create one bottle for groups to share and are again designed for use at events and festivals for younger consumers.

Like beer and gin and before it, craft wines are on the rise with the show welcoming many small producers and those boasting organic and natural accreditations. Craft & Origin 50cl bottles could easily be confused as a craft beer in the hands of a thirty-something consumer and have been designed for those looking for an organic wine without the fuss or the high price point.

Product names in the world of wine have seen massive changes to try to appeal to younger drinkers. Where previous generations sought out a familiar variety such as a Merlot, younger consumers prefer an appealing product name over production, region or grape variety. Wine makers have been increasingly dropping traditional naming conventions in favour of cheeky branding as a result.

From bottles of Joy and Slurp to the more weird and wonderful bottles of Enigma, Voodoo Child and even a bottle of LSD(!), there was a tongue-in-cheek name on display to keep everybody happy at this year’s fair.

The grocery channel has already been tapping into this trend with Aldi launching a ‘Pardon my French’ range earlier this year designed to make the well-developed wine region of France more accessible with whimsical names such as ‘Men are from Mars’ that are packaged and priced for widespread appeal.

It’s a fine balance to get this right though as proven by Iceland who got into hot water earlier this year for a direct mail campaign featuring their (pardon my French for this one) ‘Fat Bastard’ wine. The advert was banned by the ASA due to featuring the brand on the front page of a mailer that was sent to households and considered carelessly distributed due to the risk of it falling into the hands of children.

So it would appear it’s a naming game in the world of wine this year which is very fitting given my earlier mention of our latest work in this arena.

We have recently brought together two French classics to work under the same campaign banner, increase exposure in store and share cost.

The partnership, between leading wine brand Calvet and Le Rustique cheese, gives consumers the chance to win their very own personalised picnic hamper complete with their choice of initials emblazoned on the side.

I’ve heard on the grapevine that there’s still time to enter too, as the promotion doesn’t officially close until the end of July, so good luck from all of us at Toucan and, if you’re reading this with wine in hand, bottoms up!

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